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Where SNOMED CT is being used as an interface terminology, the preferred term for each concept should be used as the default for display on the user interface. Each concept may have a different preferred term in different languages, dialects, specialties or care settings, and so these can be configured to a specific clinical environment. To improve the ease for users in searching for a given concept, user interfaces may support searching over any acceptable synonym for each concept. Preferred terms and acceptable synonyms are defined in SNOMED CT using a Language reference set, which references the subset of descriptions used in a given language, dialect, specialty or care setting. The IHTSDO SNOMED International distributes two language reference sets (for US-English and UK-English), and various member countries distribute their own national Language reference sets. Additional language reference sets may be created at the regional, specialty, institute or software product level to truly customize the local user's experience.
Where a separate interface terminology is being used, each term may be bound (or mapped) to an appropriate SNOMED CT concept. When the interface term is selected, the identifier of the bound SNOMED CT concept is stored in the record. It is important when an interface terminology is being used that the mapping to SNOMED CT is of sufficient quality (ideally equivalent) to support the use cases for which the data will be used. Using an interface terminology, for example, may be useful for structured data entry, where only part of the meaning is represented by the selected term, and the rest by the surrounding interface context. An example of this is illustrated in Figure 18. In this example, when the radio button next to the term 'Full' is selected (from the 'Mobility' section on the user interface), the concept 160680006 |fully mobile (finding)| is recorded in the health record to fully represent the meaning of the selection and make future queries on this data more reliable.

Figure 18. Example of interface terminology used as part of structured data entry